Kavithalaya’s latest Tamil film, Thiruvannamalai, is directed by Perarasu, the king of masala entertainers. The title, obviously, is in keeping with the director’s fad of naming all his films after a prominent site in Tamil Nadu.
The first few scenes are vintage Perarasu: action king Arjun — er, Easwaran — is Kumbakonam’s resident do-gooder who runs Soolam TV. He bashes up bad guys like Poongundran (Sai Kumar), the MLA who is so evil that he’ll go to any length to suppress opposition. That includes making Easwaran’s friends, led by Durai Singam (Karunas) and Thumbu Singaram (Vaiyapuri) lay roads, for instance.
In the midst of all this prances is Malathi (Pooja Gandhi), a teacher cum census-taker who falls in love with Easwaran. Cue for several of Srikanth Deva’s horrendous tunes.
As Easwaran’s mother (Rathna) grows increasingly frantic at her son’s obvious aggression and tactics of beating up 100 goons, Easwaran sets up Durai Singam as an opponent in the upcoming MLA elections against Poongundran and then, all hell breaks loose.
Arjun has played roles like these for so long that you don’t expect any surprises in the acting department. Fortunately, the actor has a flair for comedy, and that saves the situation many times. He bashes up goons, plays around with a plastic-looking Pooja Gandhi and gets riled up at the villains. His screen presence works, so instead of everything being an insufferable bore, it’s actually interesting.
Sai Kumar is at his shrieking best, shouting curses all the time, and making Arjun’s life hell as effectively as possible. Karunas delivers within the meager confines of his role.
The best of the cast is Perarasu, who makes a cameo as a doctor and speaks his lines like a robot, generating much laughs in the theatre.
Stunt director Anal Arasu provides an action treat. Padmesh’s camera-work serves the movie effectively.
But Perarasu’s screenplay, for obvious reasons, rules. Sure, it’s pretty silly with regulation dances and bashes but at least you’re forewarned, and should not expect anything else.
Leave your brains at home and watch Thiruvannamalai.